Book and Film Globe Week in Review Podcast #011: J.R.R. Tolkien, Steven Soderbergh, ‘Zola,’ and More!

Our editor and writers break down the week in culture

It’s the exciting 11th edition of the Book and Film Globe Week In Review podcast, recorded live on Clubhouse! Editor-in-chief Neal Pollack chats with G.L. Ford about big woke trouble at the Tolkien society. Mr. Ford doesn’t think that contemporary political concerns should enter into Tolkien’s world of “Fairy Stories.” Meanwhile, Sara Stewart stops in to offer a counter-perspective on the movie ‘Zola,’ throwing the brakes on people’s praise of it, finding the “funny” celebration of sex work a little unseemly.

Then it’s Stephen Garrett time. This week, he talks with Neal about Steven Soderbergh’s latest heist thriller. How does Stephen Soderbergh do it? Neal wonders. We all wish our retirements were so productive. Neal compares himself and Stephen to “Jeffrey Lyons and Michael Medved run through the Multiplicity machine about five times.” He proceeds to complain about the hacky Vietnamese hit movie ‘Bo Gia.’ Stephen makes the point that maybe this is like a Tyler Perry movie, so culturally specific that you’re not supposed to get it. Good point, says Neal.

Finally, Paula Shaffer makes a visit, to praise ‘Special,’ a Netflix show about an awkward gay man with cerebral palsy. She also has kind words for ‘The Bold Type,’ a Freeform show about young women making it in the magazine business. “I’m eternally 14 years old,” Paula observes. Aren’t we all?

Finally, Neal Pollack announces that he’ll be off next week, taking a “mental health break” by laying in a banana-leaf covered pit in his backyard. We wish him luck. Mental health is very important in these trying times. Sharyn Vane will be hosting this fine show in his stead.

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